Do You Need Help from an Allergy Doctor McLean VA Families Trust?

Allergist McLean VAAre you allergic to certain medications? Are you concerned about experiencing a major allergic reaction and would like to safeguard yourself from this happening? If so, an allergy doctor McLean VA residents turn to may be able to help you out. 

At Black & Kletz Allergy, Michael R. Kletz, MD and Appaji Gondi, MD have been diagnosing and treating patients of all ages for decades. We understand how scary it can be to have an allergic reaction to a medicine you thought was going to help you. We offer comprehensive testing, in a monitored environment, to identify the medications you are allergic to and develop a treatment plan that works. For an appointment with a McLean VA allergy doctor, call our office today. 

Medication Allergies

If you have taken a medication and developed hives, a rash, or difficulty breathing, you may be allergic to the drug. These allergies can occur when your immune system has become overly sensitized to the drug or a substance in the medication and perceived it as being an invader. The body then releases chemicals to defend against the invader; thereby, causing you to have a reaction. 

The Symptoms of a Medication Allergy

You may not always produce the symptoms of an allergy after the first time taking a medication. Sometimes the body will produce antibodies the first time and any subsequent time you take the drug, it may see it as an invader. The symptoms that could result may include:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Wheezing
  • Inability to breathe
  • Feeling dizzy

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction that can rapidly impair a person’s ability to breathe. In a short time, the body can go into shock. 

Diagnosing a Medication Allergy

Allergies to medications are not easy to diagnose. Only penicillin-type medications can be effectively diagnosed with a skin test. For this reason, it is recommended to see an allergy doctor McLean VA provides in order to identify the drug you are allergic to. When you see your allergist at Black & Kletz Allergy, your doctor will want to know whether you’ve had a reaction to any medication, and if so, what was it. It may be useful to bring the medication with you. Depending on what you may be allergic to, an allergist in McLean VA may suggest a skin test or oral drug challenge. If the later is recommended, you will be supervised by medical staff. In some cases, a drug challenge may be considered too dangerous. 

Treating and Managing Your Allergy in Virginia

If you have had an allergic reaction to a medication, you should:

  • Inform all of your medical providers about the allergy
  • Ensure you understand any related medications so as to avoid them
  • Ask about alternative medications
  • Wear an emergency medical alert necklace
  • Ask the DMV to include your allergy on your driver’s license
  • Tell your close family members or friends about the allergy

Your Virginia allergy doctor might also prescribe an antihistamine to counteract the reaction, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, or a corticosteroid. 


A small number of people will be so severely allergic to a medication that they will suffer from anaphylaxis. If this occurs it is prudent you call 911 and get emergency medical care as quickly as possible. An EpiPen, Auvi-Q, or Adrenaclick self-injectable device may be prescribed and recommended to carry with you. 

Drug Desensitization

If no alternative medication is available to the drug you are allergic to, an allergist McLean VA recommends might advise you to undergo drug desensitization. This will involve you taking the medication in small amounts and increasing the dosage until you are able to tolerate it with little to no side effects. Drug desensitization is usually only recommended when you will likely need the medication. The treatment is often done in a hospital and overseen by medical staff. 

Penicillin Allergies

Up to 10% of Americans are allergic to penicillin; a popular antibiotic. It is the most common medication allergy. Most people who had a severe reaction will lose their sensitivity and be able to use the drug. An allergy doctor in McLean VA can administer skin tests to see if you remain allergic to penicillin. 

If you have a medication allergy and would like to find out how you can manage it, talk with an allergy doctor McLean VA patients recommend.